Old folk at lunch

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Joe is now 23

Joe was too busy at university to celebrate his birthday on the actual day so instead invited friends and family to join him at "Sizzlers" on Saturday night. Being Saturday night, the queue to place our orders was pretty tedious but it was clear why Joe chose that venue. He has not lost his teenage appetite and made great inroads into the buffet food there. Anne did pretty well too.

As usual, Joe's friends were noticebly "multicultural" and we even had with us an attractive Korean lady with chopsticks in her hair. (I have noticed that some Western women also do their hair that way but I have never been game to ask why). Clearly, the only prejudice Joe has is in favour of intelligence and his Asian friends of course are examples of that.

Joe seems fully back on track with his doctoral studies in mathematics, which I was very pleased to hear. I think he has his future pretty well-sorted out now.

Joe doesn't have quite the right "look" for a mathematician. Brilliant mathematicians tend to be either Han Chinese or Jewish and Joe's completely Nordic looks are at variance with that (though some Jews also look completely Nordic, of course. I have met several. The Book of Ruth may be relevant). But whether Joe makes a great mathematician or not his pleasant personality should get him to be the head of a university Mathematics Department one day -- and that is where the best money is anyway.

Below is a picture of Grigory Perelman, a brilliant Russian Jewish mathematician who finally proved a very difficult mathematical conjecture of long standing. He was awarded great sums in prize-money for his achievements but refused it all on the grounds that he already had all he needed -- even though he is reputed to live in great squalor.

Joe is not like that. Though he does have a beard -- a RED beard. Could be that being a bluebeard is just as good as being Chinese or Jewish, I guess.

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